Crane Wind Ensemble & Crane Chorus Present 'Adirondack Songs' By Gregory Wanamaker at Feb. 12 Concert

01.31.14

The first Crane Wind Ensemble performance of the semester will feature the Crane Chorus to showcase "Adirondack Songs," a composition by faculty member Gregory Wanamaker. The concert will also honor Crane School of Music Dean Emeritus Robert Washburn, who passed away in November 2013.

SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music will present the concert onWednesday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall. The performance will also include works by Michael Gandolfi, Walter Hartley and Jean Françaix.

This event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

The first Crane Wind Ensemble concert of the semester will include full ensemble and chamber works, and the second performance of Professor Gregory Wanamaker's "Adirondack Songs" for chorus and wind ensemble. Michael Gandolfi's "Vientos y Tangos" will open the program. Written as a 70th birthday present for New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble founder Frank Battisti, "Vientos y Tangos" is a literal exploration of original tango music orchestrated for winds. Continuing the program, the CWE will pay homage to the life of Crane Professor and Dean Emeritus Robert Washburn (1928-2013), by performing his "Concertino for Woodwind and Brass Quintets," a chamber work written in 1965 for members of the Crane faculty. Closing the first half, the ensemble will celebrate another birthday, Walter Hartley's 87th this time, with a performance of his popular and charming "Sinfonia No. 4."

The second half of the concert will open with Jean Françaix's "Sept Danse," based upon his incidental music to "Les Malheurs de Sophie." Sophie, a popular character in French children's literature, gets into myriad troubles with her misbehavior, and learns valuable life lessons along the way. The Crane Chorus, conducted by Jeffrey Francom, will join the Crane Wind Ensemble on stage to close the show, with the second-ever performance of "Adirondack Songs." Wanamaker's composition, written in collaboration with lyricist Garth Bardsley (who was a 2007-08 Crane Visiting Professor of Music), was commissioned by Julianne Kirk Doyle to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Crane Youth Music. The work received its premiere at final CYM concert, in July 2013. "Adirondack Songs" is slated to be recorded by the Crane Wind Ensemble and Crane Chorus, as the centerpiece of an album which will be released in the fall.

About the performers:

The Crane Wind Ensemble comprises 58 of the most outstanding wind and percussion majors in The Crane School of Music. The CWE performs as a full wind band and also in smaller chamber groups with varied instrumentation. This group is dedicated to the performance of the finest wind repertoire, regardless of period or disposition of instrumental forces.The CWE is also committed to performing music of our time, and is active in working with composers in the commissioning of new works to support this goal. Recent premieres include works by Dana Wilson, Steven Bryant, Gregory Wanamaker, Kristin Kuster, Roshanne Etezady, David Heinick, James Mobberley, Christopher Theofanidis and Joel Puckett. The CWE performs at least three performances in the fall and two in the spring. The ensemble also tours regularly. Recent off-campus performances have included concerts at the NYSSMA Winter Conference and at the NYSBDA Winter Symposium. The Crane Wind Ensemble is currently recording an album, to be released in the fall.

The Crane Chorus was founded by Helen Hosmer in 1931, and has performed under many conductors, including Christof Perick, Ann Howard Jones, Helmuth Rilling, Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Nadia Boulanger, Brock McElheran and Robert Shaw. The chorus has represented Crane at events such as the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, the 1980 Winter Olympics and a 125th anniversary celebration at Lincoln Center. Crane Chorus is comprised of nearly 200 vocal students at The Crane School of Music.

About the composer:

Dr. Gregory Wanamaker's music has been described by musicians and critics alike as "compelling," "outstanding," "cutting-edge," "skillful" and "a technical tour de force" in publications including Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide and Audiophile Audition. His music has received support and awards from several organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers and the National Association of Composers. Wanamaker's best-known works are his chamber works that exploit unique characteristics and technical extensions of wind instruments. To date, his virtuosic "Duo Sonata" for clarinet and saxophone has received more than 300 performances worldwide and is featured on four commercial recordings to date. His "Sonata Deus Sax Machina" is one of the required pieces for the 2014 Adolphe Sax International Competition. Wanamaker has several recorded works on the Innova, Albany, Centaur, KCM, Mark Custom, White Pine and Summit labels.

This concert will be broadcast live on the SUNY Potsdam website at the performance time. To view the program and see other upcoming streaming performances, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/streaming.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, please visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York's only All-Steinway institution.